“The Volunteer Organist”


The preacher announces that the organist is ill. No one volunteers to play except a drunken-looking man. He tells his story in music, amazing them all. The preacher doesn't try to preach; he just has the congregation pray as the man leaves


Spaeth (_A History of Popular Music in America_, p. 271) calls this "the sport of 1893," and goes on to detail how it spawned a play of the same title -- as well as a short-lived rush to produce imitations. - RBW


  • John McGhee, "The Volunteer Organist" (Champion 15483, 1928)


  1. Randolph 826, "The Volunteer Organist" (1 text)
  2. Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 191-192, "[The Volunteer Organist]" (1 excerpt)
  3. Roud #5378
  4. BI, R826


Author: Words: William B. Gray ("Glenroy") / Music: Henry Lamb
Earliest date: 1927 (Randolph)
Keywords: music clergy
Found in: US(So)